a16z, NFX on Latitud’s commitment to become the ‘workplace for every business supported by LatAm’ – TechCrunch

Brian Requarth learned his lesson the hard way.

When he bought a real estate investment on the Brazilian website VivaReal for $ 550 million a year ago, he had to pay more than $ 100 million in income taxes as a result of past aggregation offenses. It’s a mistake, and he wants to help African -American businesses avoid it with his new business, Latitud.

“I He took advice from someone in Silicon Valley who told me ‘You need a C Corp… that’s what we’re going to invest in,’ ”Requarth told TechCrunch. “The truth is, and I went to learn this through a very big mistake, which is why I ended up paying $ 100 million in cash taxes to the U.S. government because it was a company. in the US even though we didn’t work there. ”

The lesson stuck to her and became a personal effort to help teach others in the country to do the same. Fast forward to the onset of the disease in 2020; Requarth joined DuoLingo VP of growth Gina Gotthilf and Yuri Danilchenko, former CTO of Brazilian startup Escale, will see what they describe as a “technology business program” in Latin America. The disease has only just begun, and while quarantining, the trio have found themselves in a position – alone – to learn that businesses are trying to navigate the new trend amid rising interest. from international publishers.

“A lot of people who called us were worried and afraid of the money running out and some boards would tell them to fire people,” Requarth recalled. “I ended up taking Zoom 150 phones in the summer of 2020 and heard a lot of stories of good ideas from founders and amazing businesses. But I found that there was a huge gap in understanding. Doing the usual. “

And so on Latitude give birth. Today, the company – which is in the business of helping other startups leave the country and make money in Latin America – is launching its own fundraiser. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and NFX also led Latitud’s $ 11.5 million investment, which included Endeavor, Canary, FJ Labs, Ganas Ventures and unicorn founders such as Nubank’s David Vélez, Rappi’s Sebastian Mejia, Creditas COO Ann Williams, dLocal co-founder Sergio Fogel, Creditas founder Sergio Furio, Bitso founder Daniel Vogel, Auth0 co-founder Matias Woloski and Cornershop co-founder Daniel Undurraga, among others.

Bootstrapped to date, Latitud has focused on implementing and building community – it’s in LatAm, a country where people value connectivity as much as they look. He wanted to strengthen his thesis as it expanded, Gotthilf said.

“There’s a huge growth of interested people growing businesses across the country but the industry is kind of old -fashioned,” said Requarth, Latitud’s CEO. “The ecosystem is being tested and destroyed if no one builds highways to do better things up to the technology industry.”

Founders in the country often rely on handicrafts.

In addition, with the growing interest in the country coming from the United States – as reported by the leading investors of this fund – more and more people are just starting out. to companies in Latin America. According to PitchBook, sponsored businesses will grow by $ 14.8 billion among 772 contracts in Latin America by 2021 – the most money invested in the country in the six years combined. .

“If businesses in the U.S. start a supported business, the friction is not the same as LatAm,” Requarth said. “It’s easy to do things, well.”

Latitud aims to help professionals from the very beginning – including setting up a business, accessing cross -border capitalization, navigating the table and getting advice from professionals. “implementation” drivers and technology leaders. It starts by writing down the process to create Latitude.

“We found it cost $ 30,000 to hire three law firms to do the right thing so we could pull a VC out of the U.S.,” Requarth said. “It seems like a great day, irritating and time consuming.”

So the three started mapping out everything they were doing when they started Latitud, and building programs to separate that process for LatAm businesses.

Today, the company is building a “suite” of software products, the first of which is Latitud Go, which aims to allow any founder to be “smart” to deploy a business-backable business. ready for globalization “at the push of a button and is five times smaller than what is on the market today.”

Many businesses use that software every day, and Latitud’s goal is to make it a storytelling system for every VC support group on LatAm.

A program of training and scholarships called Latitud Fellowships has also been established that teaches executives in high -tech industries around the world. Now, the program has more than 800 businesses that went on to raise $ 250 million in total counting over $ 1.5 billion combined, Latitud is proud of.

The company owns a business arm, Latitud Ventures – led by Tomas Roggio – that has invested in more than 80 companies, including Pomelo, BHub and Alinea.

A16z General Partner Angela Strange, through her firm, has been investing in LatAm for some time. He was drawn to Latitud’s ability to build “a wealthy community of builders in Latin America” ​​and its “independent and critical products that extend time to market.”

NFX General Partner Pete Flint knew he had it He is known and worked with Requarth for ten years, as a former publisher and consultant at VivaReal.

“We’ve worked on a lot of projects since then,” Flint told TechCrunch. “I think that’s his biggest asset.”

It is also known that a16z and NFX will be fortunate to have early access to future stars in the LatAm region that they did not have.

“There are a lot of opportunities in Latin America right now, but a lot of positive outcomes will fall due to areas of bureaucratic friction,” Nubank’s Vélez said. “Latitud is building the business I wanted when I started Nubank.”

The beginning itself says it has no head office. Gotthilf lives in São Paulo and Requarth is in the Bay Area (with plans to move to Mexico for a year). The rest of its 25-member team is spread across the US, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Panama, Argentina and Spain.

He plans to “invest hard” with his new capital.

“Our goal is to become a SaaS / fintech business,” Requarth said. “Our vision is to help a business turn a business around, create a database and have all the tools they need to run a business. We want it to be a working system for every startup. Supported by LatAm.

Now, Latitud is planning to host an April 5 event “for anyone who wants to learn more and have time to invest” at the start.

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